How to Select the Right Welder Training Class near Wetumpka Alabama
Selecting the ideal welder technical school near Wetumpka AL is an important first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you select the right one? Many prospective students begin by reviewing the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have found those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial concerns when evaluating welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s sensible to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training Classes
There are a number of options to obtain training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can earn a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are short summaries of the most common welding programs available in the Wetumpka AL.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by trade and technical schools and require about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, created mainly to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so be sure to check for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welder school you pick should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are various organizations that offer welding certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Wetumpka AL employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based on the kind of work that the welder performs. Just some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As previously mentioned, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welding tech school you decide on preps you for certification if needed.
Questions to Ask Welder Technical Schools
As soon as you have decided on the credential you would like to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you probably know, there are a large number of welder trade and technical schools in the Wetumpka AL area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously discussed a couple of important ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the school you decide on is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are more factors you might want to evaluate before picking a welder vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding trade school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 standard kinds of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation can also assist in getting financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable in Wetumpka AL for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welding degree or diploma programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools should have associations with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish associations within the Wetumpka AL welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an instructional program and complete it. It’s important that the welding school you select has a higher completion rate. A low rate may indicate that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the program has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Wetumpka AL employer relationships to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have narrowed down your choice of welding programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using on the job. If you are not sure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Wetumpka AL welding professional if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Although we previously briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to address. You should bear in mind that unless you can move, the welder school you choose must be within commuting distance of your Wetumpka AL home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, apart from moving costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, often their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you ultimately will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be overlooked in larger classes and not obtain much individualized training. Ask what the average class size is for the welding programs you are looking at. Inquire if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can experience just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with several of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, talk with a couple of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Flexible Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Wetumpka AL, make sure that the schools you are looking at offer those alternatives. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Online Welding Schools
Welding is very much a manual kind of vocation, and for that reason not very suitable for training online. Even so, there are some online welding classes offered by specific community colleges and technical schools in the greater Wetumpka AL area that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes mainly cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to begin their training and education. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be accomplished online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that would like to advance their expertise or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and make sure that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Wetumpka AL?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Wetumpka Alabama area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Wetumpka is a city in and the county seat of Elmore County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 6,528. In the early 21st century, Elmore County, long a rural area, became one of the fastest-growing counties in the state. The city is considered part of the Montgomery Metropolitan Area.
Wetumpka identifies as "The City of Natural Beauty". Among the notable landmarks are the Wetumpka crater and the Jasmine Hill Gardens, with a full-sized replica of the Temple of Hera of Olympia, Greece. Historic downtown Wetumpka developed on both sides of the Coosa River. It was near Fort Toulouse, built by French colonists in 1717, when they had claimed this territory for the king.
The word Wetumpka is derived from the Muscogee language (Creek) phrase we-wau tum-cau. The name Wetumpka is a historic Creek place word meaning "rumbling waters", believed to be a description of the sound of the nearby Coosa River at the rapids of the Devil's Staircase. The roar of the rapids reportedly could be heard for miles before the construction in the 20th century of Walter Bouldin Dam and Jordan Dam, when the river was captured as a reservoir behind the dam.
Pick the Right Welding Trade School Wetumpka AL
Choosing the right welder school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Short Course Welding. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a must that any welding training program that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each training program offers unique options for certification as well. Probably The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you choose is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the final result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Wetumpka AL.